Front Page Titles (by Subject) to the u. s. minister to france (robert r. livingston) - The Works, vol. 9 (1799-1803)
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to the u. s. minister to france (robert r. livingston) - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 9 (1799-1803) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 9.
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to the u. s. minister to france (robert r. livingston)
Washington Mar. 16, 1802.
—Your favor of Dec. 26, was received the 5th inst. and one of a later date to the Secretary of state has been communicated to me. The present is intended as a commentary on my letter to you of Aug. 28. When I wrote that letter I did not harbor a doubt that the disposition on that side the water was as cordial, as I knew ours to be. I thought it important that the agents between us should be such as both parties would be willing to open themselves to freely. I ought to have expressed in that letter the distinction between the two characters therein named, which really existed in my mind. Of one of them I thought nothing good. As to the other (whom you mention to be the real one contemplated) I considered him well disposed to this country, but not towards its political principles. I had confidence in him to a certain extent; but that confidence had limits. I thought a slight hint of this might have had some effect on the choice of an agent. But the dispositions now understood to exist there, impose of themselves limits to the openness of our communications, and bring us within the extent of that reposed in the agent under consideration. Consequently it is adequate to all the purposes for which it will be used. I wish you therefore not only to suggest nothing against his mission, but on the contrary to impress him that it will be agreeable, and even desirable, which is the truth. For I firmly believe him well disposed to preserve amity between that country and this. Tho’ clouds may occasionally obscure the horizon between us yet there is a fund of friendship and attachment between the mass of the two nations which will always in time dispel those nebulosities. The present administration of this country have these feelings of their constituents, and will be true to them. We shall act steadily on the desire of cementing our interests and affections; and of this you cannot go too far in assuring them. In every event we will receive with satisfaction any missionary they chuse to send. Not being very sure of the channel of conveyance for this letter, I have explained the former one so that you will understand it: and reserve myself on other subjects to some future occasion. Accept assurances of my high esteem & consideration.